Roger Clemens has taken the mound 707 times in his professional baseball career, where he had fast become known as one of the most fierce and intimidating presences baseball has ever scene. That was how he was supposed to be remembered, as the greatest pitcher in the history of baseball. Yet, he was anything but fierce or intimidating in front of the House Committee. Public opinion against Roger has gone from lukewarm, to completely cold against him, and I continue to challenge the media's declaration that Roger Clemens is guilty.
Critics start by pointing how shaky Clemens looked on the stand, surrounded by his legal team, while Brian McNamee was almost stoic in his demeanor, and in his acceptance of his fate. "What is the point of Brian lying now", "What more did McNamee have to gain", and other ridiculous statements are being uttered by the press and regular joe public alike. Roger Clemens is a baseball pitcher. He has trained himself to perform at an elite level to throw a baseball better than anyone else in the history of the game, not to be able to stand in front of a group of politicians trying to capitalize on getting face time in front of the camera's to push their own agenda. How can people expect a baseball player to not appear shaky when he has his reputation on the line, and is putting his trust not in his own skills that he has learned his whole life, but on that of his legal team which he trusts are trying to look out for his best interests. Clemens has to not only be able to think about what he wants to say, but how he says it and the words he chooses to use, so as to avoid further problems. I don't think that anyone should be taking shots at Roger Clemens for listening to the counsel of his legal team on how to deal with a situation in which the public has already turned against him despite the statements that he has already made professing his innocence.
Critics also keep talking about the fact that Brian is now apparently being truthful despite initially lying to everyone involved. They also like to point out to the fact that other baseball players that he named have now come out and admitted to taking HGH, including Roger's "friend" Andy Pettitte. So what! Has everyone forgotten the flack that was being thrown on the House Committee for going after Barry Bonds? There was growing criticism of Bonds being a witch hunt, and questions as to whether they would have been so aggressive against a white baseball player, especially considering that McGuire has basically escaped blame free (voting for the Hall of Fame excluded at this time, that will be an article for later). The House Committee themselves have an agenda to appear race-neutral in their concern on performance enhancing drugs and baseball players. So what happens with a major name like Roger Clemens falls into their laps? A slam dunk case of them trying to do everything in their power to indict him like they have Barry Bonds, and I am sure that Roger Clemens has been advised of such by this legal team. Or, at the very least, to take precautions against the attempt, which is exactly what you see him doing.
Make no mistake about it, Brian McNamee has got plenty that he can still lose from this. He is bringing down the greatest pitcher in baseball, and no one thinks that he can profit from it at all? Don't be ridiculous. Brian is taking advantage of his 15 minutes of fame to its fullest extent. The fact that he says he kept evidence of Roger's use of HGH for almost a decade is interesting, but not damning. Who says that the needles were used on Roger? Who says that Brian did not reuse those needles on himself or others? So what if Brian apparently gave HGH to Roger Clemens' wife. My friends share cigarettes with my wife, you don't see me taking them. The issue is not whether his wife took them for her photo shoot, and is whether Roger took them in order to pitch until the age of 45 and win 354 baseball games.
The fact of the matter is that in North America, and especially in the United States, there has been the propensity for witch hunts, and I believe that we are in full witch hunt mode right now. People have convicted Roger Clemens without him having the benefit of a trial and in the face of dubious evidence. Let him have the benefit of the doubt. Let him be proven guilty.